Thursday, December 31, 2009

Character Progression

So after weeks of frustration, I guess I do see a little bit of light. I worked on Angela's head based on the feedback I received from friends and family members. I also started texturing the her head and her dress. As you can see, I did not pay much attention to her foot as there are no close-ups or even mid shots showing her feet. So that saved me a lot of trouble.

Here is the texture map I painted for Angela' head. I used my friend's photograph as a base to start the texture painting process. So, special thanks to her for that :) It is still incomplete though, I have to paint hair behind her right ear.

As for the normal map for the dress, I'm still having difficulty exporting it out from ZBrush. This is what it looks like after I generate it (I don't have Zmapper):

As for Angela's father, I'm pretty proud of of the model actually. This is what it looks like:

The only thing that is pulling the whole model down is the ear, which I plan to work on later on. The good news, however, is that Angela's nighty simulation is behaving more or less correctly. I developed an internal body model structure for Angela's nighty to collide on. Here's what it looks like:

Finally, I can start rigging her.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Angela's Umpteenth Progression

This is really getting tiring and frustrating...

Hands are screwed up, and so is the nose.. going to fix later. I hope she looks more feminine and childlike now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Look Development Progression 02

Added an overall glow to enhance the warm homely feeling. Added night sky and stars. Still work in progress.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Angela' Father's Update

Just a base mesh - going to deform it after I'm done with the lips and the ears until it fits my character design, probably in ZBrush if I have time.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Angela's Father

Hopefully, I've to only do this once...

So I started work on Angela's father's head. I used photographs of myself as reference. Once I finish modeling the head in Maya, I would probably bring it to ZBrush and modify the shape to fit my character design. here's what I've done so far:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wall Cracks

I showed Yi Chuin the lit up set, and the comment she had was that it looks too grand at the moment. Her suggestion was to try adding cracks on the wall and some form of distortion to the wallpaper to make it look more natural and suitable for the character's background. So I took her suggestion and tried it:

It is kind of dark right now because it's all rendered in one pass - no compositing done. I will be working on it further when I have time. Right now, I'm working on the modeling Angela's father.

Oh, just something random which I found to be pretty interesting. I went to my hypershade, selected all my shaders and graphed them:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Angela 3rd Model

From consultation with Alan previously, he mentioned that the latest version of Angela looks a lot like Gollum. He advised that if it were him, he would re-do it. So I took his advise. He suggested me to find a suitable girl to be scanned in using the 3D scanner so that it would make my modeling job a lot easier.

I had my friend come down for her to be scanned in using the school's 3D scanner. Apparently, there was something missing and the person in charge of that missing something was on leave. So the scanning could not happen. So I took her photographs from the front and side view and some detailed close-ups as well. I will not put up those pictures here to respect her privacy.

I took those photographs and edited them in photoshop by correcting the lens distortion. Then, I placed them respectively in the Maya orthographic viewports and modeled using a plane instead of a cube. This method proved to be much more efficient for me.

Not perfect yet, but I hope it looks a lot better than the previous version. I realised that using this plane approach rather than the box modeling approach, I had a lot more control visually as to how I move the vertices and tweak them. I did this over a period of one and a half days. The ear is yet to be modeled.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Set Lighting Test

So this is what I did so far to test out the lighting on the set. It's supposed to emote a homely warm feeling. Some of the models aren't shaded properly as yet - just the default lambert shader. I rendered everything in a few layers including global illumination. Then I composited everything in Shake. The below is the node tree for the entire composition:

Done using Maya, mental Ray and Shake. Textures using Photoshop. Comments are most welcome.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Look Development Progression

So I started on lighting my set. I tried a non GI (global illumination) approach and a GI approach. However, the GI approach seemed a better outlet for me. Even though it was more or less an accurate simulation of real world lights, I could still cheat by using light linking to isolate lights to illuminate certain objects only. The above two images were rendered using GI, approximately 3 minutes per frame, and using a total of 23 lights. However, I felt that the spot light effect above the candle holder didn't seem right, so I removed them and tweaked all the other lights. This is what I got:

So pretty soon, I'm going to set up a multi-layer render set up to break down the render passes. This way, render times could decrease and things can be done quickly. I'll composite in Shake and upload once I'm done. This is what my outliner looks like right now:

So based on this set-up and testing out the lights and renders, I came up with a workflow which should work out for me:

01) Render the set as one layer with GI (no shadows)
02) Render the set with rim lights without raytracing on another layer (if necessary)
03) Render ambient occlusion as one layer
04) Render set shadows on its own separate layer
05) Render characters on its own separate layer
06) Render characters's eyes with specularity on separate layer
07) Render character's shadows on separate layer
08) Special effects on their own layers (fire, smoke, etc)
09) Render character ambient occlusion on separate layer
10) Zdepth channel on separate layer to control depth of field in post
11) Bring everything into Shake to composite

Meanwhile, comments are most welcome.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Angela's Nighty Cloth Test

This was what I was working on last night. The cloth looks rubbery and for some reason, the sleeve pops out of the arm. That needs fixing. Here's the sort of final ZBrush sculpted nighty:

The detail doesn't show up in the simulation because I have yet to create the UVs and export the normal map for the mesh.

During consultation with Alan, he mentioned that it might be a good thing if I had to restart on Angela's head. He suggested me to get photographic reference of a real girl or even better, have her come in and use the 3D scanner to scan her facial data and use that as a base mesh for me to model my character on.

Really getting worried about look development now.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Angela's Nighty

So I decided to take a break from modeling Angela's head and start work on Angela's nighty. I made the base mesh in Maya with some level of detail. Initially, I didn't plan to bring my model into ZBrush. But later on, I realized it probably might make my task easier since I had to sculpt the folds of the nighty.

Here's my progress. This is the base mesh which I created in Maya:

And here's what I have sculpted in ZBrush so far.

It's still kind of rough as of now. I need to smoothen out the folds so they don't look crumpled. This mesh is going to be simulated as cloth in Maya. I'm worried about the entire cloth pipeline as I have never done cloth on such a large extent. Once this mesh is done and ready to be simulated, I would do a few tests and post it up here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Set Update + Angela's Head

The above is the set textured without any dressing. Most of the wood-based furniture is procedurally shaded and textured. The feedback I received from Alan was that the wall texture was too saturated and I need to desaturate to make it less glaring to the eye. So I would be working on that next.

Meanwhile, I'm having a lot of difficulty modeling Angela's head. This is the update so far:

Still working on the overall head shape and the ears specifically to get it to look right. I modeled the ear in a separate scene file, imported it over and stitched it to Angela's head. Comments are most welcome please.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All About Fire

So I started texturing my set yesterday, and today my prime focus was on the fireplace. Hence, I UV mapped the stone wall and textured it appropriately. I also made some parts appeared burned due to the consistent use of fire.

I moved onto shading and texturing the logs. I decided to go for a procedural approach as that would give me more randomization and interesting looks as compared to bitmap textures. Hence, I created a shading network. I wanted to have the effect of red hot wood burning on certain parts of the log:

I rendered the image with a light to see how the textures and shaders interact with one another:

Next, I created particle fire and had it rendered in the scene as well:

Lighting is not finalized as yet. Comments are most welcome.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Set Texturing - A Start

No lighting, just placeholders textures to test out color palette / mood. All the walls are sharing a single 4K texture map and the floor has a 2K texture map.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Angela Model Updates

I had another consultation with Alan today. This time, I just showed him the model that I had done and he said that it looks a lot better than the previous one, just that more edges are needed near the mouth and the nose area. So I reworked on that:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Angela New Head Model

So based on my consultation with Alan today (or yesterday since it's 5.13 in the morning right now), I re-did Angela's head with references and keeping the edge flow in mind. This took me quite some time to do, but I feel it's much better than the previous one. I've yet to perfect the nose and the cheekbones. Mouth will be added in later.